When Riverside resident Jeanne Sheehan started the Riverside Children’s Theater Guild, she didn’t realize its popularity would continue to grow and that in 2017 it would be celebrating 20 years of providing a stage for area children to perform.

Sheehan, a talent in her own right, was known for her performances. Who can forget the many shows she put together for St. Mary Church (remember me, Latilla the Nun –that’s another story for another time). 

As writer and producer, she has been the driving force behind the Children’s Theater Guild’s original musical spectaculars since 1997. Over the years the guild has provided an opportunity for children and adults who enjoy performing to take to the stage or provide some of the technical aspects of theater.

When Sheehan first began the guild, her daughter Molly could be seen on stage singing and dancing. Now it is Molly’s children who are preparing to take center stage. The apple(s) certainly didn’t fall far from the tree in the Sheehan family. 

It is not an unusual case as many former “child” performers are now applauding their children who perform with the guild. Case in point, Jacob Palka, who started as a child actor with the Guild and now assists Sheehan. 

“It is truly a generational thing,” Sheehan said. “The kids who performed with us back when we started are now sharing the stage with their kids.”

Hundreds of children and adults have performed in productions and this year’s musical comedy, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf,has a cast of 50 ranging in ages from 6 to 60. The original story is about a rich and savvy business wolf who threatens to displace all the fairy tale creatures from the Enchanted Forest to put up condominiums. See who steps up to help save the day. I will tell you Snow White and her friends, the Seven Dwarfs, will be making an appearance

A treat for the whole family, the show will in the auditorium at Hauser Junior High School, 65 Woodside Road in Riverside on Thursday Feb. 9 and Friday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday, Feb. 11 and Sunday, Feb. 12 at 3 p.m. 

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12 and can be purchased at the door or in advance by visiting www.squareup.com/store/RiversideTheaterGuild.

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